Nakayoshi: 宮古そば なかよし

宮古そば Miyako soba

Near to the university, on a back road, there is a small local restaurant called Miyako Soba Nakayoshi. As my sensei is from Miyako-jima, he is partial to this place, so of course one sunny day he treated us students to lunch and kakigouri (shave ice) かき氷.

When you see the place, you know it is a true mom&pop type shop, filled with regulars. Inside, it seems everyone knows everyone else. Anyway, we all sat down and checked out the menu; mostly the typical shokudo stuff, including a type of Okinawa soba (suba) popular in Miyako-jima.

Well, being as I don’t eat meat, sometimes eating Okinawan food can be a bit of a challenge. But the owner is very kind and made me Goya Chanpuru without the pork. Funny enough, one of my lab-mates ordered the same as me. For dessert, my sensei ordered us all Okinawa zenzai, which is basically shave ice with sweet red beans.

Everything was delicious and cheap, as expected from a  small place like this. Anyway, if you find yourself looking for small hole-in-the-wall places near Ryukyu University, this is a place to check out for some local hospitality.


Makabe Chinaa: 茶処 真壁ちなー

茶処 真壁ちなー Makabe Chinaa is located in Itoman, in an old traditional Okinawan house. It is in a small, quiet neighborhood. When you drive there, you wonder if you are going the correct way… but not to worry, it is not too difficult to find and has ample parking.

When you enter, remove your shoes. Most of the seating is tatami seating. The menu is in both Japanese and English. It is mostly typical shokudo food– champuru, suba, and some others. The price is a little higher than some typical shokudo, but it is also a nicer setting.

The atmosphere is very relaxing, taking you back in time when life was a slower pace. There is no A/C or central heating, truly an old traditional building.

The food was pretty good; we ordered tofu chanpuru, fu chanpuru teishoku (came with mini soba and a choice of purple rice or juushii), and hirayachi. Overall a very nice experience.

address: 沖縄市糸満市真壁223番地

Shokudo: 食堂

Shokudo translates to “dining hall.” This can mean a cafeteria or just a local restaurant. Whenever I see the kanji 食堂, I know I am going to get a cheap, simple meal popular with locals… which is pretty much always good.

At shokudo, there are often teishoku 定食, meaning “set meals.” You meal will come with small sides, like pickles or vegetables, maybe a small salad, miso soup, rice, etc. Often times, these places have self-service water and tea instead of offering much in the way of soft drinks.

In Okinawa, shokudo usually offer the local favorites of Okinawa soba, chanpuru, tonkatsu, ebi-fry, curry sets. Here are some examples:

Some recommended local shokudo:

Aichan Shokudo 愛ちゃん食堂:

Awase Soba Shokudo アワセそば食堂:

Cafe Mermaid カフェマーメイド:

Cafe Wa かふぇわ:

Miyako Soba Nakayoshi: read the post here.